The idea of creating a multi-disciplinary organization to provide services for children with disabilities began in 1996 as two colleagues, Dr. Diane Cullinane and Mimi Winer, noted a need for services which included families, and served children in the home and community. At that time many children with developmental delays and disabilities were served in special segregated educational or therapeutic-based ‘school’ programs, beginning at 18 months of age. With a belief that social-emotional development and family relationships were of primary importance, PCDA began a range of services which addressed the child’s needs in natural environments, and included parents and caregivers.
A group of child development specialists from different disciplines who shared a similar philosophy about the importance of working with families came together to form Professional Child Development Associates With a focus on social-emotional development, all disciplines were able to contribute to the understanding of the child, and work together, rather than the typical isolated individual discipline therapeutic model.
These programs and other services have continued to grow and flourish, and we have added many new services in response to community needs. Thousands of children have benefited directly from PCDA services, and even more through our outreach and training programs.
In March 2008, PCDA became a non-profit organization so that we could better meet our client’s needs. The past 20 years have shown what outstanding success is possible following the core principles of parent involvement, multidisciplinary teamwork and a focus on social-emotional development.